Oil Continues to Gain Ahead of OPEC Meeting

By Biman Mukherji Features Dow Jones Newswires

Oil futures rose slightly in Asia on Wednesday, building on a week's of gains ahead of Thursday's looming decision on output cuts by major producers and prospects of falling U.S. supplies.

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The American Petroleum Institute, a private industry group, said late Tuesday in the U.S. that crude and gasoline stockpiles declined last week. Drops are also anticipated to be seen in later Wednesday's government report.

That as folks for some time have been focused on Thursday's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. An extension of ongoing production cuts is anticipated, and they could even be deepened as global supplies remain well above 5-year averages--a level cartel members want inventories to fall back to.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was recently up 0.1% at $51.55 a barrel in the Globex electronic session. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 0.2% to $54.23.

Investors' hopes the past 2 1/2 weeks have been buoyed by reports that Saudi Arabia is garnering support among major producers for a potential nine-month extension of production cuts.

If confirmed, "we will see a bounce in the market very quickly," said OM Financial's Stuart Ive. That as "there are plenty of reasons to think that demand will be increasing." He thinks oil could get toward $65 by year's end provided there is compliance by all participants to the output cuts.

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Nymex June gasoline futures were recently up 0.3% at $1.6669 a gallon and ICE gasoil rose 0.1% to $479.25 per metric ton. Diesel, which through Tuesday had gained 10-straight sessions for the first time New Year's 2010, added 0.3% to $1.6175 a gallon.

Write to Biman Mukherji at biman.mukherji@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 24, 2017 00:53 ET (04:53 GMT)